• 2005-12-15

    Mark 海外来信 2

    关于LA  city 的城市建设,就LA times 上报道的市长畅想发展蓝图,誓将其建成global centre 一事,发表如下评论:

    It is indeed a lovely dream.  And nice to hear from someone who isn't
    yet trying to run for reelection, so the sentiment is not too jaded.

    Change must come.  But there are so many competing interests - and
    everyone is so self-serving.

    In the US, we train ourselves to only think of ourselves, and not of
    others, or of the greater good.

    Selfishness, self-centeredness will be our downfall.

    If I had my choice, I would live in a small town on the Puget Sound
    near
    Seattle.

    Or perhaps in Sai Kung...

                                                                                                          -Mark

  •  

  • Institutionalizing Poor Quality
    By Lee Copeland

    Summary:Have you ever noticed how many professional activities don’t utilize a separate testing phase? Veteran tester and instructor Lee Copeland has. And it got him thinking about our industry and the role a tester plays. In this week’s column, you may be surprised by his conclusions.

    Consider the following three scenarios:

    • You’re shopping at the neighborhood grocery store. As you wander the aisles you come to the meat department. The pastrami looks extra good today. You ask the butcher to slice half a pound for you—extra thick, just the way you like it. The butcher smiles and nods—he knows just what you want. Into the slicing machine the pastrami goes; back and forth the butcher guides the slicer arm; a pile of pastrami forms on the tray below. Just then the butcher steps back from the machine. Suddenly the tester appears. She weighs the pastrami again. She measures the width of each slice. She pronounces the pastrami fit for you, the customer.
    • You’re at the barbershop. You’ve just dropped in for a little trim. Yes, you do look a little shaggy around the edges. You explain the kind of haircut you want—just a touch off the front, tapered off just at the top of the ears, squared off in the back. The barber snips and clips, snips and clips, sprays and combs, snips and clips, combs and blows. Then she steps back and he appears—the tester. The tester verifies that the customer’s requirements have been met, within the schedule and budget parameters, and with the expected quality attributes.
    • With pastrami in the bag and your new haircut, you zoom home without a care in the world. Suddenly, in the rearview mirror, you see flashing red and blue lights. You pull over and wait for the inevitable. Yes, in your hurry you were exceeding the speed limit. "But not by that much," you plead with the officer. The officer takes pity on you (perhaps it’s the great-looking haircut) and writes only a warning. Just then, materializing from nowhere, the tester appears. The tester calibrates the speed gun, rechecks your license, examines the warning, declares it acceptable, and makes a prediction about your future behavior.

    Why are these stories so silly? The answer is obvious—people in these professions, in the normal execution of their work processes, are simply expected to do a good job.

    I was curious about how many fields of endeavor actually have testers. At the local public library I found a four-volume set of books entitled Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. It contained over two thousand pages describing hundreds of occupations. Some of the more interesting (which I somehow missed as I was scavenging around for a career) include animal trainer, bounty hunter, circus performer, dance instructor, edge grinder, fact checker, geomorphologist, horse groom, ironworker, jailer, keno runner, lobbyist, model dresser, nanny, oceanographer, party disc jockey, quilt maker, robot assembler, sponge buffer, tactile interpreter, umpire, vintner, weaver, xylophone repairer, yodeler, and zydeco musician. I only found three careers in this encyclopedia that sounded like testing (which I define as looking for defects in the work products of other people). They are auditor (of various types), aviation safety inspector, and construction inspector. Software testers were not listed. (Perhaps that says something, but that’s another column).

    What do these three occupations have in common? The auditor checks to make sure no one is breaking rules that would result in huge financial losses. The aviation safety inspector is making sure no one is forgetting something that would result in loss of life as well as loss of money. The construction inspector too is making sure no one is cutting corners that would result in loss of life and loss of money. Hmmm. I see a pattern here. The pattern is that while people are expected to do their jobs properly, in certain professions the risk is so high that it is imperative that we check again, just to be sure.

    Now, let’s consider software testers. They check to make sure that the developer’s code actually meets its specification. They check to make sure the developers performed their job properly. They may even be making sure that no huge financial losses, or even death, occur as a result of releasing faulty software. Nothing significantly different here. So what is the difference? In many organizations there is virtually no expectation that the developers will have tested their code. There is no expectation that they will have done their job properly!

    Why is it even remotely acceptable that people would not be required to do their jobs properly? Why doesn’t the organization that institutionalizes the position of software tester then also have painter tester, cook tester, typist tester, shipper tester, nurse tester, receptionist tester, computer operator tester, manager tester, yada, yada, yada tester? Is the creation of software really so different that we don’t expect its developers to check their own work?

    In her book, The Deming Management Method, Mary Walton explains the philosophies of W. Edwards Deming, the great quality guru.

    Deming’s basic philosophies are detailed in his "Fourteen Points." Point number three is "Cease dependence on mass inspection." (Note: "Inspection" is Deming’s word for all kinds of "testing.")

    Explaining Deming, Walton continues, "A company’s aim should be to do away with quality by inspection. Even inspection at various stages of production rather than at the very end is no answer." (Does this sound like unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing?) "All too often the pile of defects grows until, in desperation, the parts are used as is." (Sound familiar?) "Quality comes not from testing but from improvement of the creation process."

    In our world, the process that needs to be improved is the development process. We should expect developers to build-in quality just as we expect airplane engineers to build-in quality—with testers/inspectors only there to verify quality. It’s time to put the first responsibility for a high-quality product back where it belongs—in development, with developers.

    Note:

    as is Informal
    Just the way it is, with no changes or modifications: bought the samovar as is from an antique dealer.
  • 2005-12-13

    我给Mark的回信

  •  

     

  • 李宇春

    -真我最可爱

    --美国 时代周刊亚洲版记述李宇春的文章

    中国娱乐界极少出产偶像.当然,也还是会有一些电影演员可以撑得起一两部影片,某个另类的摇滚歌手招得体育馆爆棚.但是能从中国的电视屏幕上脱颖而出,还是甚为少有的.就连唱歌这一全国性的娱乐方式与电视保留类型,也好象只为千篇一律,嗲声十足的性感路线主义艺人,歇斯底里的民谣歌者,肩扛肩章铜星,歌颂祖国红旗的和气家伙所占据.

    这一切恰恰有助于我们来理解为何一位年仅21岁,来自四川某音乐系的普通学生李宇春可以成为近日中国最眩目的明星这一现象.今年八月,李夺得了一栏类似于 美国偶像选秀活动的歌唱比赛的冠军.这档节目由中国湖南卫视娱乐频道制作,并被冠以一个独一无二的名字- 蒙牛优酸乳超级女声(其企业赞助者系优酸乳制造商).超级女声吸引了中国电视收视史上最多的观众.当竞赛进入白热化状态时,各大媒体争相报道,俨然如同在报道O. J .辛普顿审判现场.截止比赛决赛直播时,已有约4亿人在收看.

    然而这里的李宇春现象却远非因为其 女声的出彩;连她最热忱的歌迷也承认她的唱功是较弱的.她的嗓音游弋于雪儿(美国流行歌坛长青树)与你的弟弟在上七年级前那个暑假所独有(即即将变声时期-译者)的音域之间.她的舞蹈也实在谈不上很好.黑楠,此次比赛的评委之一,曾向广州日报直言,李是 (比赛)六强中在唱功方面最差的,但是同时指出她赢得了最多观众的支持.

    李所独具的是一种挑战中国常规的态度,另类风格以及大大方方,不加修饰的中性气质.在从15万人中挑选出15人的海选中,李身着宽大的牛仔裤,黑色的衬衫,不施粉黛,从头型到整体造型颇似太空星尘里的大卫·鲍伊.她在试唱时所选的歌曲是一首经典老歌我的眼里只有你没有她,使这首歌广为传唱的是台湾歌手刘文正一个男人.在整个比赛过程中,她演唱的也多为男性歌手所创作的歌曲,而她也称自己为 假小子.对一个养育在泡泡糖,闪亮唇油等中国少女流行文化中的观众群来说,李对传统条条框框的背叛具有一种特有的魅力.她的歌迷当众为她痛哭,当她舞台得势时又为她的表现放声尖叫.比赛还引起了北京宣传机关的注意.在最后一场比赛时,李与亚季军都从拿手节目转到了传统爱国歌曲.

    李的成名在诸多方面来说都是不寻常的:超级女生是 民主运作的;这一点如同 美国偶像,但在中国却不典型.决赛之夜八百万手机短信蜂拥而入.在此之后的几个星期里,中国大陆的新闻届对此运作模式的争论不绝于耳. 只有打破常态的东西才会引起如此大的反响, 毕竟中国能够实际的完全用投票的方式进行选择,机会是比较少的, 喻国明,人民大学的媒体研究专家,如是告诉新京报. 中国日报的一则社论提出疑问:一个民主制度的复制品怎么会选出来一个高音都唱不上去的歌手?当李正筹备与其他决赛选手一起参加全国巡演时,她的演艺代理方不愿谈论超级女声节目或者李成功案例中的政治民主深意.湖南娱乐频道拒绝了时代周刊提出的采访李或为李拍照的要求.据她的一位经纪人称,他们担心文章会把李描述得太过复杂,而她只是一名歌手.但她又决非仅仅一个歌手而已:她代表了一种坦荡的个性主义,而这正是李成为全国偶像的终极原因.

                                                    操 丹 译

  • This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements.  The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance.  No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected.
  • Mark Byers 先生是美国好莱坞职业剧作家,制片人,导演.Los Angles Quixotic 影视集团CEO.其作品包括中国大陆家喻户晓的电影"刮痧"(主要演员梁家辉,蒋雯丽,朱旭等);Byers先生担任此片的剧本作家和制片人.

    Byers 先生还参与近期一部香港动作影片"猛龙特警队"的制作,担任此片的艺术策划以及associate producer.

     

    Quixotic

     To Whom it May Concern

    RE: Dane Cao

     

     

    Greetings;

     

    Dane Cao is an extraordinary young man with whom I have had the great pleasure to work in developing Chinese-American co-productions for feature motion pictures and television programs.

     

    Dane is bright, well organized, and focused.  He is a self-starter who not only accomplishes the task at hand with excellence, but also looks ahead to what needs to be done next, with a keen attention to detail.

     

    Many a time I have requested one task of him, only to discover that he has already accomplished that without being told, and a host of other related tasks as well.

     

    Dane is not only a hard worker, but has great understanding and wisdom, able to grasp the root concept of what we are working toward, and plot alternate courses to reach the same goal. 

     

    He blends very well with the divergent personalities of those he works with, and is universally well liked.  He is a quintessential team player, with tremendous leadership qualities.

     

    I would recommend Dane Cao to anyone as a reliable, loyal, dedicated employee – and stand ready to personally respond to any questions or further information anyone may need.

     

    At Your Service;

    Mark Byers

    CEO - Producer

  • 2005-12-12

    DAVID SEDARIS

  • 2005-12-12

    THE DEEP END

  • 上线啦!!

    Do visit me next time will ya?

    Dudes,we'll have fun here.

    Take it from me.